What format should be Music Files be in iTunes??

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JackRabbitSlims, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. JackRabbitSlims macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    #1
    Hi.

    MacBook, iTunes, 160gb iPod Classic, Etymotic ER4 IEM's and FiiO Headphone Amp.

    What is the best format for my Music files please ?? ALAC?? or any other.

    Thanks.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Define "best." For the best quality/archiving you should use ALAC. If you are looking to save space, use MP3.
     
  3. JackRabbitSlims thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    #3
    Yeah, best quality.

    Thanks for your help.

    How do I check what they currently are in iTunes and then is it easy to change them to ALAC??

    Sorry, bit of a Newbie.:rolleyes:
     
  4. Jeordeon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    If their file size is ~40 mb, and kbps is ~1000, it's flac or alac. aiff is another lossless extension, but file size is like tripled. Anything else is pretty much mp3 or aac. To see the original music file: Music>iTunes>iTunes Media>Music. Then you can actually see the file extension.

    iTunes does not support flac, so if you have a flac file and you want to put it in your iTunes library, put it through XLD, load 'em into your library, highlight them in iTunes, right-click and create alac version (that step is only necessary if you want to put them on your iPod). Finally delete the flac files from your iTunes library. Advice: When converting to alac, keep the flac files highlighted so you can tell which ones to delete.

    It's actually a simple process. However, alac is a MUCH larger file size than mp3/aac.
     
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Tumbleweed666

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #5
    You wont get any better quality by converting the format to ALAC !

    You'll only get the best quality by ripping direct from CD to ALAC. Once you've lost information by ripping to a lossy format, you can't recover it by converting, whatever the format you convert to.

    However, at anything more than 256Kb (or perhaps less) MP3 its very unlikely you'd ever be able to tell the difference, the human ear/brain setup isn't that good, plus you have the limitation of the speakers and amplification its being played through.
     
  6. JackRabbitSlims thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    #6
    Hmmm, OK - thanks for that info.

    Almost my entire iTunes library is ripped from CD's I own....is it worth deleting the entire library and ripping again in ALAC??

    How do I determine the format that a CD is ripped to iTunes please??

    Sorry for all the questions.
     
  7. Jeordeon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #7
    I guess preferences, import settings, import using alac encoder. But...well that may not improve the quality. It could be converting lower bit rate tracks into alac, keeping a low bit rate. But I'm not sure, as I get all of my music online.
     
  8. ann713, Jul 20, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011

    ann713 macrumors 65816

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    California
    #8
    I thought most, if not all CD rips are ALAC?
     
  9. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Tumbleweed666

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #9
    The way to tell that is to rip one in ALAC, and do a comparison listening. Or even dont bother ripping but listen to the CD and see if you can hear the difference with the ripped version. (CD and ALAC should be no difference in terms of quality)

    Also, I don't know how much disk space you have but as previously stated, ALAC is huge, so look at how big your iTunes library is and then see what difference it would make to you if it was about 10x (IIRC) bigger.

    It also depends on what format its currently ripped to and how many CD's, eg do you have months of work ahead of you to rerip, or a couple of hours?

    Preferences > General > Import Settings
     
  10. JackRabbitSlims thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    #10
    I have around 1000 CD's so that could take a while.

    The current rip format i have set in iTunes is "Apple Lossless Encoder" so are these files taking up waaaaaaay too much space??
     
  11. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia.
    #11
    Define "way too much space"? A thousand CDs will take up about 300GB in Apple Lossless (ALAC).

    I'd say you'd have trouble picking between 256 kps AAC (default iTunes setting) and ALAC even with the ER-4[P?] (my favourite earphone by the way), but for the sake of future proofing, I'd stick with ALAC. I'd ditch the Fiio too, unless you have the S version of the ER-4.

    AAC (MP4) gives better quality for the same file size than MP3 in case you are wondering.
     
  12. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #12
    studies have shown that even audiophiles can't hear the difference between CDs vs high bit rate MP3s. Save yourself the extra time, money and headaches of trying to keep your audio in some sort of imaginary pristine condition, and instead use a high bit rate MP3 that will sound literally exactly the same to you and everyone else.
     

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